What’s in a Name?: The Feel-Good Story Behind Lampo’s Pizza, “Paulie Gee Said We Couldn’t Call It the He**boy”
What’s the old Shakespeare line? “A Hellboy by any other name would taste as sweet”?
Lampo’s Hellboy is gone. Or is it?
A longtime favorite, the beloved pie dates back to the Neapolitan pizzeria’s earliest days. Not long after opening in 2014, one of Lampo’s first specials was an ode to a favorite pizza of the owners from the Brooklyn-based Paulie Gee’s. At Paulie Gee’s, the “Hellboy” is fresh mozzarella, California tomatoes, Berkshire soppressata picante, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Mike’s Hot Honey. Lampo’s version is fiore di latte, San Marzano tomatoes, soppressata piccante, Calabrian chili, and scorpion pepper honey.
The special grew so popular that Lampo regulars urged it be added to the menu. In deference to the pie’s creator, though, Lampo maintained its chalkboard special status.
Fast forward to 2022. When Lampo re-opened for on-premises for the first time since the pandemic began, to mark the occasion the owners decided to grant their regulars’ request. The Hellboy was finally on the menu.
“Hell(boy!) no,” said Paulie Gee (the pizzeria’s namesake, Paul Giannone).
You see, the pie had become so iconic that it now had one of those little (r)s next to it on the menu at Paulie Gee’s, which prohibited other pizzerias from using the name.
The good news is that Paulie was a great sport about it. After learning about Lampo’s use of the name and speaking with the owners, he had no objection to the pizza’s new name. He even quite liked it.
Introducing Lampo’s: “Paulie Gee Said We Couldn’t Call it the He**boy.”